NELSON, B.C–The 400 seats at the Capitol Theatre in Nelson were full as family, friends and first responders gathered to say a last goodbye to Wade Tittemore, a 43-year-old Nelson police constable who perished when he was caught in an avalanche last week.

Tittemore, a 15-year police veteran had served as constable with the Nelson police force for approximately four years, when he ventured out into the backcountry north of Kaslo on Jan. 9, together with a colleague for a ski trip. The two were caught in an avalanche near Mt. Jardine, where an intensive search by rescue personnel located the officers under thick layers of snow. Tittemore, a husband and father of two elementary school children, was declared deceased on the site
“It was very true to Wade’s spirit,” said Nelson police chief Donovan Fisher, after a piper played for the participants exiting the venue on Wednesday afternoon, many of them active first responders in ceremonial uniform.
“Obviously it is a sad occation, a lot of respect and sad, touching moments, but there was a lot of levity to it, too.”
Fisher, who began working with Tittemore after becoming Nelson’s chief of police in 2021, said his deceased colleague was a skilled officer, but also known as the office prankster, who kept those around him going with humour. On the stage during the ceremony stood a guitar, which was one of Tittemore’s passions outside work.
“He played in the office a lot of afternoons and evenings, and with his sons as well,” Fisher said. “So it was a nice, touching sentiment to have there.”
Before his death, Fisher said that Tittemore was one of those next in line to be promoted to detective with the detatchments investigative unit. He was presented the rank posthumously during the memorial.
“He worked hard at that,” said Fisher, “so it was only fitting we were able to promote him to the rank of detective and present that to his family.”
Nelson Mayor Janice Morrison said the Nelson police officer made an impact far beyond his years in the service.
“The theatre was full to capacity. I think this is a reflection on what this young man, Wade, meant to so many people in the communities he worked.”
The 20-person police department in Nelson had received support from RCMP since the incident, but will now begin covering its ordinary shifts.
The other officer caught in the avalanche sustained serious injuries, and remains in intensive care at a local hospital. A GoFundMe-campaign for the two officers had raised more than $70,000 on Wednesday.
The avalanche risk in the B.C backcountry has in recent weeks been noted as high, with some experts comparing this year’s snowpack to the one of 2003–one of the worst years for avalanche fatalities, according to Avalanche Canada.